Thursday, July 23, 2009

Film Review: DEATH WISH II (1982, Michael Winner)

Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 95 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Charles Bronson, Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Franciosa (TENEBRE), Jill Ireland, soundtrack by Jimmy Page. Produced by Golan and Globus.
Tag-lines: "First His Wife. Now His Daughter. It's Time To Even The Score!"
Best one-liner: "He saved our lives dammit! Where we you, giving out parking tickets?"

I could say, like many have, that this is a bleak, disturbing view of crime-addled humanity on the brink of ruin. Instead, I will say that this is a movie where someone gets shot in the face through a ginormous boom box.

But still, there's a lot to be learned from DEATH WISH II, whether you're a two-bit punk, a film scholar, or something in between.

MYTH: It's worth it to steal Bronson's ice cream money.
FACT: No. Cause Bronson is one of those pacifists that will just look for ANY excuse to kick your ass.

MYTH: "We all look the same to Whitey- he'll never pick you out, Jiver!"
FACT: Not true. And when he gets you, he doesn't even need a one-liner, it's just: "Goodbye."

MYTH: No movie should every be unfairly truncated.
FACT: Every once in a while, it doesn't really matter. So some post-rape bloody 'vag shots got cut out? Probably a good thing. This is a Golan/Globus production. It's not like we're talking IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES here.

MYTH: Golan and Globus like dance sequences in gritty movies.

FACT: Golan and Globus love dance sequences in gritty movies.

MYTH: Bronson loves orangutans.
FACT: Score one point for Bronson in the eternal Bronson vs. Eastwood battle- Bronson sneers, then chuckles at a theater marquee playing an EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE double feature. Damn!

MYTH: When Bronson gets hurt, he promptly seeks medical attention.
FACT: He smoothly makes dinner plans with his British ladyfriend (real-life wife Jill Ireland) and hides his arm behind his back as he bleeds out from a ridiculous switchblade gash. After she leaves, he casually dresses it himself and then makes it to dinner, unruffled.

MYTH: When murder and rape are the crimes, only the judicial system may judge.
FACT: Well, according to the trailer, "When murder and rape are the crimes, BRONSON is the only punishment." And that he is. "Do you believe in Jesus?," he inquires of a punk wearing a crucifix. "Yes," replies the wimpering wrongdoer. "Well, you're gonna meet him," intones Bronson before blowing him away. Wow. Four stars. Keep 'em in that little woolen cap that you think functions as a 'vigilante disguise.'

-Sean Gill


skeelo said...

I had to share this review with friends cuz it's so hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I've seen this movie dozens of times and always found the hospital orderly we see near the end to be an interesting character...

As a huge John Carpenter fan, imagine my surprise when I only recently realized it was Charles Cyphers (!) I don't know how I missed it before...perhaps it was the beard? Somehow he looked a lot different than he usually does.

Anyway, excellent flick!

xjjjx said...

small walk on by Brad Pit as a gay guy